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Zizinho 1944 flamengo.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomaz Soares da Silva
Date of birth (1921-09-14)14 September 1921
Place of birth Niterói, Brazil
Date of death 8 February 2002(2002-02-08) (aged 80)
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1939–1950 Flamengo[1] 172 (88)
1950–1957 Bangu[2] 147 (65)
1957–1960 São Paulo[3] 35 (19)
1959 → São Bento de Marília (loan)[4][5] 9 (2)
1961 Audax Italiano[6] 16 (3)
National team
1942–1957[7] Brazil 53 (30)
Teams managed
1960 Bangu
1965–1966 Bangu
1967 Vasco da Gama
1972 Vasco da Gama
1980 Bangu
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomaz Soares da Silva, also known as Zizinho (Portuguese pronunciation: [ziˈzĩɲu]; 14 October 1921 – 8 February 2002), was a Brazilian football player, who played as an attacking midfielder for the Brazil national football team.[8][9] He came to international prominence at the 1950 World Cup, where he scored two goals. He was lauded as a complete player, renowned for his incredible array of offensive skills such as his dribbling, passing, and shooting ability with both feet, as well as his accuracy from dead ball situations and extraordinary vision, and is often considered the best Brazilian footballer of the pre-Pelé era.[by whom?]


Born at Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, he played for Flamengo, Bangu, São Paulo FC, Audax Italiano of Chile among others teams. He is considered the first idol of Flamengo, club that he defended - wining the state championships in 1942, 1943 and 1944 - until he was transferred just before the start of 1950 World Cup to Bangu. In São Paulo he won the state championship in 1957 being extremely important and becoming an idol.

In the 1950 World Cup he helped Brazil to progress to the final, but their surprise 2-1 defeat to Uruguay tarnished his reputation. Zizinho played a total of 53 times for his national team, scoring 30 goals. He turned down last minute invitations by the CBF to join first the 1954 world cup squad and then the 1958 squad, citing on both occasions that it would be unfair on the player being dropped at the last minute to make way for him.

Pelé always said that Zizinho was the best player he ever saw. "He was a complete player. He played in midfield, in attack, he scored goals, he could mark, head and cross."[10]

Playing honours[edit]






  1. ^ [1] Fla-Estatística (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ [2] Almanaque do Bangu (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ "Estadao.com.br - Acervo". Acervo Estadão (in Portuguese).
  4. ^ [3] Arquivos do Futebol (in Portuguese)
  5. ^ [4] História do Marília (in Portuguese)
  6. ^ Morales, Italo. "El ídolo de Pelé y la selección brasileña que se retiró en Audax" (in Spanish). Diario AS Chile.
  7. ^ "Thomaz Soares da Silva "Zizinho" - Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  8. ^ "World Football Legends - Zizinho (1921-2002)". World-football-legends.co.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Obituary: Jair da Rosa Pinto". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  10. ^ Bellos, Alex (12 February 2002), "Obituary: Zizinho", The Guardian
  11. ^ 100 World Cup heroes (40-21): Sportsmail's countdown continues with Gazza, Kempes, Hagi and Jairzinho
  12. ^ a b IFFHS' Century Elections Archived October 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ FIFA.com (2011-06-30). "The Copa America in numbers". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2017-05-25.

External links[edit]